Brooklyn environmental activist swims polluted waters of Newtown Creek

A man swam the entire length of Newtown Creek Wednesday morning to campaign for clean water in the city.

Brooklyn Environmental Activist, Christopher Swain is suiting up to swim across the Newtown Creek Wednesday in hopes to draw attention from city, state and federal officals to continue a Clean Water Act mandated back in 1972.

Brooklyn Environmental Activist, Christopher Swain is suiting up to swim across the Newtown Creek Wednesday in hopes to draw attention from city, state and federal officals to continue a Clean Water Act mandated back in 1972. (12/23/15)

BROOKLYN - A man swam the entire length of Newtown Creek Wednesday morning to campaign for clean water in the city.

Christopher Swain, a clean water advocate, braved toxic sludge and dangerous bacteria and viruses like gonorrhea when he swam in Newtown Creek.

Swain calls the 3-mile swim one of the most disgusting he has ever done.

His goal by swimming in the creek is to bring attention to the pollution and push for a full cleanup of Newtown Creek.

The creek, a Superfund site, was identified by the federal government as a waterway in need of being cleaned up. Swain says the partial cleanup that is underway is not enough. 

“So whatever it takes to clean up the sewage, whatever it takes to clean up the oil, whatever it takes to fix the storm drain systems so we don’t have floating trash in here, I think we owe that to ourselves,” says Swain.

This is not the first time Swain has swam in polluted water. In April, he swam the Gowanus Canal, which is also labeled a Superfund site in need of being cleaned by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Swain says he wants all city waterways to be safe and swimmable every day.

"The Clean Water Act promises us that all the navigable water in the United States are available for swimming, for fishing, for use and enjoyment and we're not there yet," says Swain.

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